Compared to K-5 II

From the front and top, there are few physical differences between the K-3 and the K-5 II that came before it.

The real changes are on the back, and we're not talking about the 'Ricoh' logo on the K-3. The LCD is now a 3.2-inch display, with a 3:2 aspect ratio. While not visible here, the viewfinder is a bit larger on the K-3, as well. They made quite a few changes to the rear controls too. Notice the new dedicated movie recording button, still/movie switch, and memory card management button. More details on those additions below.

Compared to Nikon D7100

A camera the K-3 will almost certainly be compared to is the Nikon D7100. As the photos above illustrate, the D7100 is the larger of the two cameras, but the K-3 is actually about 40 grams heavier. Both cameras are festooned with buttons and dials, offering similar levels of external control.

Body Elements

Pentax DSLRs have always had a loaded mode dial, with some exposure modes that you won't find on other brands. These include sensitivity priority (Sv) and aperture + shutter priority (TAv) modes.

The locking mechanism has been revamped, with a switch now controlling whether the dial can turn. The old metering switch is replaced by a button on the back of the camera.

Some of the new movie-centric features can be found to the upper-right of the LCD. They include a dedicated movie recording button (which turns on live view when in stills shooting mode), plus a switch to toggle the camera between stills and movies.

On the left side of the camera is a redesigned switch for moving between auto and manual focus. To change between single and continuous AF, you can simply hold down the new AF mode button just above the switch.

This AF mode button is also how you'll move between the various focus modes on the camera (auto, selectable point, spot).

The flash on the K-3 has been slightly retooled. The guide number remains at 13 meters at ISO 100, but the flash now pops up higher than before.

The main set of I/O ports, found under a rubber cover on the camera's left side, include USB 3.0, micro HDMI, and DC-in (for an optional AC adapter).

The K-3 is one of only two cameras on the market with a USB 3.0 port, with the other being the Nikon D800.

At the intersection of the left and back sides of the camera is the K-3's microphone port.

The K-3 has the ability to manually adjust the mic level - something that couldn't be done on the K-5 II.
Not far from the mic port is the new headphone jack. To the upper-left you'll see the (covered) flash sync port, as well as the RAW/Fx button.
The K-3 now offers two SDHC card slots, which are located on the right side of the body.

The user can choose to use the second card as a mirror, as overflow, or for storing JPEGs when you're shooting Raw.

The card in the foreground is a 'Flu' SD card mentioned on the previous page.
The battery used by the K-3 is the same as that of the K-5 II. The D-LI90 contains an impressive 14Wh of energy.

Strangely enough, battery life on the K-3 is almost a third lower than that of its predecessor (560 vs 740 shots).

We were skeptical of the battery life and contacted Pentax, who confirmed that it was indeed correct.